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First Year Milestones

As a a first time mom to a new baby, it can be overwhelming to consider all the learning and growing they will do in such a short time!

While all kids develop in different time frames there are some known guidelines that you can use to feel like you are staying "on track".

Remember, these are just guidelines, and a healthy child may achieve a milestone earlier or later than average. If your child is lagging in several areas, contact your pediatrician for advice. Here are a few key steps for each month:

By the end of month one a baby typically:

  • Lifts head for short periods of time

  • Moves head from side to side

  • Prefers the human face to other shapes

  • Makes jerky, arm movements

  • Brings hands to face

  • May turn towards familiar sounds or voices

  • Responds to loud sounds

  • Blinks at bright lights

By the end of month two a baby typically:

  • Smiles

  • Tracks objects with his eyes

  • Makes noises other than crying

  • May repeat vowel noises, such as "ah" or "ooh"

By the end of month three a baby typically:

  • Raises head and chest when put on tummy

  • Kicks and straightens legs when on back

  • Open and shuts hands

  • Pushes down with legs when placed on a hard surface

  • Reaches for dangling objects

  • Grasps and shakes hand toys

  • Tracks moving objects

  • Recognizes familiar objects and people, even at a distance

  • Begins to develop a social smile

  • Begins to develop hand-eye coordination

  • Brings both hands together

  • Holds head up with control

By the end of month four a baby typically:

  • May sleep about six hours at night before waking (total sleep typically 14 to 17 hours)

  • Rolls over (usually stomach to back is first)

  • Sits with support

  • Lifts head up 90 degrees

  • Can follow a moving object for a 180-degree arc

  • Babbles and amuses self with new noises

  • Responds to all colors and shades

  • Explores objects with his mouth

  • Recognizes a bottle or breast

  • Communicates pain, fear, loneliness and discomfort through crying

  • Responds to a rattle or bell

By the end of month five a baby typically:

  • Pays attention to small objects

  • Experiments with the concept of cause and effect

  • Can see across the room

  • Begins to use hands in a raking fashion to bring toys near

  • Begins teething process

By the end of month six a baby typically:

  • Keeps head level when pulled to sitting position

  • Makes some vowel-consonant sounds

  • Sits by self with minimal support

  • Opens mouth for spoon

  • Reaches for and grabs objects

  • Rolls over and back

  • Drinks from a cup with help

  • Can hold bottle

By the end of month seven a baby typically:

  • Can self-feed some finger foods

  • Makes wet razzing sounds

  • Turns in the direction of a voice

  • Plays peekaboo

  • Imitates many sounds

  • Distinguishes emotions by tone of voice

By the end of month eight a baby typically:

  • Chews on objects

  • Reaches for utensils when being fed

  • Turns head away when finished eating

  • May sleep between 11 and 13 hours a night; takes 2 to 3 naps (may vary)

  • Rolls all the way around

  • Sits unsupported

  • Gets on arms and knees in crawling position

  • Has specific cries for various needs

  • Babbles enthusiastically

  • Tests gravity by dropping objects over edge of high chair

  • Responds to own name

  • Has different reactions for different family members

  • Shows some anxiety when removed from parent

  • Reaches for toys

  • Drops objects and then looks for them

  • Becomes interested in grabbing the spoon during feedings

  • Goes from tummy to sitting by self

  • Picks up tiny objects

  • Begins to identify self in a mirror's reflection

By the end of month ten a baby typically:

  • Understands the concept of object permanence

  • Gets upset if toy is removed

  • Transfers object from hand to hand

  • Stands holding onto someone

  • Pulls to standing

By the end of month eleven a baby typically:

  • Says "ma-ma" and "da-da" discriminately

  • Understands "no"

  • Claps hands

  • Waves bye-bye

By the end of month twelve a baby typically:

  • May take one to two naps daily

  • Triples birth weight and is 29 to 32 inches long

  • Bangs two cubes together

  • Puts objects into containers and then takes them out

  • Voluntarily lets objects go

  • Shakes head "no"

  • Has fun opening and closing cabinet doors

  • Crawls well

  • "Cruises" furniture

  • Walks with adult help

  • Says "ma-ma" and "da-da"

  • "Dances" to music

  • Interested in books and may identify some things

  • May understand some simple commands

  • Fearful of strangers

  • Shares toys but wants them back

  • May form attachment to an item

  • Pushes away what he doesn't want

  • Prefers to push, pull and dump items

  • Pulls off hat and socks

  • Understands use of certain objects

  • Tests parental responses to behavior

  • Extends arm or leg when getting dressed

  • Identifies self in mirror

The most important thing about your babies development is YOU. You can't love this little human TOO MUCH. So give yourself and their development some grace before any panic sets in if they seem a bit behind a curve in one area or another. If you are really concerned, the best advice is to take them to the pediatrician.

Charlotte, North Carolina

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